Blackwell-Tapia Conference and Award Ceremony

Congratulations to the 2020 Blackwell-Tapia Prize Winner: University of Washington, Professor of Mathematics, Tatiana Toro 

The 2020 Blackwell-Tapia Conference was postponed. The organizers are continuing to monitor and heed the guidelines put forth by the Centers for Disease Control to plan for COVID-19 disruptions, The in-person conference dates for the next Blackwell-Tapia Conference will be announced as soon as it is safe for large gatherings to take place. 

Description: Held every other year, the host rotates among NSF Mathematics Institutes. The conference and prize honor David Blackwell, the first African-American member of the National Academy of Science, and Richard Tapia, winner of the National Medal of Science in 2010, two seminal figures who inspired a generation of African-American, Native American, and Latino/Latina students to pursue careers in mathematics. The Blackwell-Tapia Prize recognizes a mathematician who has contributed significantly to research in his or her area of expertise, and who has served as a role model for mathematical scientists and students from underrepresented minority groups or has contributed in other significant ways to addressing the problem of under-representation of minorities in math.

Goals of the conference:

  • Recognize and showcase mathematical excellence by minority researchers
  • Recognize and disseminate successful efforts to address under-representation
  • Inform students and mathematicians about career opportunities in mathematics, especially outside academia
  • Provide networking opportunities for mathematical researchers at all points
    in the higher education/career trajectory

Blackwell-Tapia Prize:  The biennial Blackwell-Tapia Prize was established in 2002 by the Mathematical and Theoretical Biology Institute and the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in honor of David H. Blackwell and Richard A. Tapia, distinguished mathematical scientists who have been inspirations to more than a generation of African American and Latinx students and professionals in the mathematical sciences.

Previous recipients of the Blackwell-Tapia Prize have been Arlie Petters, Benjamin Powell Professor and Professor of Mathematics, Physics, and Business Administration at Duke University (2002); Rodrigo Bañuelos, Professor of Mathematics at Purdue University, (2004); William Massey, Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton University (2006); Juan Meza, Professor of Applied Mathematics at the University of California, Merced and currently Director of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Mathematical Sciences (2008); Trachette Jackson, Professor of Mathematics and Director of the Jackson Cancer Modeling Group at the University of Michigan (2010); Ricardo Cortez, Pendergraft William Larkin Duren Professor of Mathematics at Tulane University (2012); Jacqueline Hughes-Oliver, Professor of Statistics at North Carolina State University (2104); Mariel Vazquez, Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, and Mathematics at the University of California, Davis (2016); Ronald Mickens, Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Physics at Clark Atlanta University (2018); Tatiana Toro, Professor of Mathematics at University of Washington (2020.)

The Blackwell-Tapia Conference at which the prize is awarded is currently supported by a consortium of U.S. mathematics institutes, which host the conference in turn. Previous hosts have been MSRI (2002), IPAM (2004), IMA (2006), SAMSI (2008), MBI (2010), ICERM (2012), IPAM (2014), NIMBioS (2016), ICERM (2018), SAMSI (2020-Postponed due to COVID-19.) Prior to the first awarding of the prize, an initial Blackwell-Tapia Conference was held at Cornell University in 2000, supported by MTBI and MSRI.

The conference is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the National Science Foundation, and the NSF Mathematical Sciences Institutes Diversity Committee